Your 10-Book Manga Starter Pack

Manga can be an overwhelming world to dip a toe into, because there are simply so many places you can begin. If you’re looking to try some manga, but have no idea where to start, here are ten series openers to check out!

The Ancient Magus’ Bride, by Kore Yamazaki
If you loved Uprooted, you’re going to be obsessed with this book. Chise Hatori is a penniless orphan sold to an inhuman mage. She soon becomes his apprentice, and her strange new life is filled with fairies, magic, and many other fantastical creatures.

Blue Exorcist, by Kazue Kato
Father Fujimoto, a famous exorcist, has raised Rin for as long as Rin can remember. One day, an argument brings forth the truth: the blood of Satan runs in Rin’s veins. Now, he must head to True Cross Academy in order to learn how to defeat his father. But can Rin become an exorcist while hiding the truth of his bloodline? Especially when drawing forth his father’s sword unleashes his own demonic power?

Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa
Edward Elric lost his arm and leg and Alphonse, his brother, became a soul in a suit of armor after an alchemical ritual gone wrong. Now they work as agents for the government…but they aren’t the only alchemists in the world. And the main thing the Elrics have in common with the evil alchemists is their search for the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, the one thing that could restore their bodies. This upcoming edition comes with an updated translation and new lettering, so it’s the perfect time to start reading this classic series!

Jimmy Kudo is a superbly talented teen detective. But after mysterious men in black feed him a strange substance, he is physically transformed into a first grader! With the help of his neighbor, Dr. Agasa, he comes up with the alias of Conan Edogawa and covertly assists a former rival detective (who happens to be the father of his crush, Rachel) solve mysteries.

Sweetness and Lightning, by Gido Amagakure
Kôhei Inuzuka is a math teacher raising his young daughter,Tsumugi, on his own after the loss of his wife. One major problem: he is absolutely terrible at cooking. But for Tsumugi, and with the help of one of his students, Kotori, he decides to start learning. The three meet at the restaurant owned by Kotori’s mother and struggle their way through new culinary adventures. Included in each volume of the manga is a recipe for the food Kotori and Kôhei make!

The Water Dragon’s Bride, by Rei Toma
This is the perfect manga to start with if you are obsessed with Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone. Asahi, a modern-day girl, is mysteriously whisked away to a far away land, where she becomes friends with a boy named Subaru. But not everyone is so friendly there, and Asahi is sacrificed to the water dragon god! Subaru attempts to help, but Asahi must endure a test of survival if she wants to get back to him. The Water Dragon’s Bride has the most gorgeous illustrations, and is sure to make romance and fantasy fans swoon.

Yona of the Dawn, by Mizuho Kusanagi
Yona is the only princess in her kingdom—adored by her father, the king, and protected by Hak, a faithful guard. Most importantly, she loves to spend time with her beloved Soo-won. But after her father is murdered on her sixteenth birthday, she has to flee for her life. With Hak’s help, the displaced princess Yona has to find a new way of life, and every possible path is filled with uncertainty. If you love Flame in the Mist or The Orphan Queen, this is the perfect manga for you.

Delicious in Dungeon, by Ryoko Kui
A Dungeons and Dragons campaign meets the mystery baskets from Chopped in this fantastical food adventure manga. After Laios and his company are defeated by a dragon in a dungeon, they lose all their money and provisions. Plus, one of their members is taken. On the trek to get her back, the party must survive, but with no food they have to come up with a new option. Their plan: kill and cook up the monsters lurking in the dungeon.

The Book of Vanitas is rumored to be a clockwork grimoire with an interesting reputation. The rumors surrounding the book draw a young vampire named Noé to Paris in search of salvation for a friend. But instead of having to search for the book, it comes to him…along with a man who claims to be a vampire doctor. Noé gets caught in a conflict that threatens the human/vampire peace, and a quest to save vampirekind.

Kamisama Kiss, by Julietta Suzuki
When Nanami’s father’s gambling debts run him out of town, she’s kicked out of their apartment by collectors. With nowhere to go, she receives an offer for a home from a man she’s just saved from a dog. As it turns out, his home is actually a shrine. And her acceptance of his offer means she has just taken over as the local deity.

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